UPDATE 5/14 – Here is the published letter at the Boston Globe.
Joyce from the Resolve.org bulletin boards wrote this letter to the Boston Globe editor:
“I am sure that there will be many articles and opinions honoring moms on Mother’s Day next Sunday. I have a mom, and I am greatful that I have a mom, especially since I am adopted. Mother’s Day holds a special meaning for moms who adopt their children.
But there are two other groups of women who should never be forgotten on Mother’s Day. These are women suffering through Infertility, and women who have sufferent the loss of a child. Sadly, there are many women who belong to both of these groups.
For these women, Mother’s Day is as difficult as a day can be. It celebrates what seems to be either an unattainable goal: having a family, or, celebrates everything that they have lost: a child.
Infertility affects 1 out of 6 couples. Infertility is a biolgical problem that affects men and women. Sometimes there is a reason, sometimes there is no reason. These women endure countless humiliating, painful tests, nighly shots, internal ultrasounds and blood draws every other day, surgery, endless procedures all in the hope of someday holding a baby in their arms. They do this month after month somestimes failure after failure in the hope that ‘this cycle just may be the one that works. They live in the ‘fertile world’, having to listen to comments from those who try to helpful, telling them to ‘just relax’ and you will have a baby. On Mothers Day, they bear witness to society’s view that women who have children are special and valued, as well they should be. But no one tells a woman in fertlity treatments how special and valued she is. A woman in treatment is an especially strong woman, full of love and devotion for building a family.
Mothers Day can be a special hell for a woman who has lost a child – whether it be via miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, illness or tragic accident. If the woman has no other children its an especially lonely day. I lost my son in December. He was born silent at 25 weeks. Am I a mom? If so, where is my child? But to say that I am not a mom seems to say that the four days I spent in labor did not happen. They did happen, only I never got to bring my child home. Instead, my beloved husband and I carried him to a cemetery.
I am blessed in that I got to feel life inside of me. I got to feel my son kicking me in the early morning when the rest of the world was silent. I was a mom-to-be. Now I am a mom that was?
So on Mothers Day, I ask everyone to pay a special tribute to the women who are so committed to being a mom that they put the very idea of having a child in front of their own wishes and desires. They sacrifice much in their quest to make their bodies do what is supposed to come natrually.
This Mothers Day I honor every woman who has shared my heartbreak and yet goes on, hour by hour, day by day. Our children are never far from our thoughts and they are always in our hearts, and that, I contend is what makes a mom. “